The Saratov Approach (2013) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Saratov Approach (2013)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Inspired by actual events, THE SARATOV APPROACH is the extraordinary, untold story of Elders Travis Tuttle and Andrew Propst and their week-long abduction in Saratov, Russia. On what seemed like any other day during their two-year LDS missions, Elders Travis Tuttle (Corbin Allred) and Andrew Propst (Maclain Nelson) are approached by Nikolai (Nikita Bogolyubov) to meet a friend. But then the missionaries experience the unimaginable -- kidnapped, beaten, and held for ransom for nearly a week -- on the other side of the world in Saratov, Russia. While their family, friends and the world pray for their safe return, Tuttle and Propst are tested physically, emotionally and most of all -- spiritually. (c) Saratov Filmsmore
Rating: PG-13 (for some violence)
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure
Directed By:
Written By: Garrett Batty
In Theaters:
Purdie Distribution - Official Site


Jennifer Erekson
as Mary Propst
Bruce Newbold
as Lee Propst
Peggy Matheson
as Donna Tuttle
Paul Mulder
as Roy Tuttle
Brett Merritt
as Mark Larsen
Bart Johnson
as Senator Smith
Jay Z
as Agent Ross
Rocky Meyers
as Agent Miller
Brit Server
as Agent Garza
Dale Dixon
as News Anchor
William Rubio
as News Anchor
Eduard Dzafarov
as Saratov Branch Presi...
Tanja Savchenko
as Saratov Branch Presi...
Marian Maskal
as Saratov Directions N...
Jake Van Wagoner
as Russian Drunk
Patrick Quinn
as Russian Truck Driver
Sergei Dengin
as Russian Passenger
Yuriy Davidovich
as Saratov Couple on Wa...
Lyuda Lazorenko
as Saratov Couple On Wa...
Arthur Kalchev
as Saratov Neighbor
Nick Alamo
as Saratov Neighbor
Tonya Domanchuk
as Saratov Street Conta...
Pasha Terebov
as Saratov Street Conta...
Helena Bas
as Saratov Street Conta...
Ana Havel
as Saratov Street Conta...
Anna Pravedna
as Saratov Street Conta...
Kate Zabolena
as Saratov Street Conta...
Oleg Nemirovsky
as English Students/Sar...
Nina Mikhaylenko
as English Students/Sar...
Vladimir Yakymchuk
as English Students/Sar...
Daniel Yukhimets
as English Students/Sar...
Ilia Kuharchuk
as English Students/Sar...
Maxim Podmokov
as English Students/Sar...
Alyosha Durov
as English Students/Sar...
Anzhela Chornomor
as English Students/Sar...
Vera Bordyuzha
as English Students/Sar...
Sveta Kirpach
as English Students/Sar...
Larisa Lihatskaya
as English Students/Sar...
Tina Wu
as Church Goer
Darren Williams
as Church Goer
Jeremy Prusso
as Church Goer
Nathan Hawkins
as Propst Supporter
Jacey Miller
as Propst Supporter
Merrill Nielson
as Propst Supporter
Austin Wilson
as Propst Supporter
Joshua Badger
as Propst Supporter
Ean Aubrey
as Propst Supporter
Kathy Carter
as Field Reporter
Bob Carter
as News Camerman
Dennis Butler
as Melchizedek Priestho...
Bryan Orme
as Yellow Ribbon Youth
Alyssa Orme
as Yellow Ribbon Youth
Israel Bonilla
as Yellow Ribbon Youth
Josh Orme
as Yellow Ribbon Youth
Zach Orme
as Yellow Ribbon Youth
Chandra Orme
as Yellow Ribbon Youth
Emma VanWagoner
as Airport Traveler
Annabelle VanWagoner
as Airport Traveler
Henry VanWagoner
as Airport Traveler
Jonathan Turner Smit...
as Airport Traveler
Alaina Tramell
as Airport Traveler
as Agent Ross
Shawn Carter
as Agent Ross
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Saratov Approach

Critic Reviews for The Saratov Approach

All Critics (4) | Top Critics (1)

Uneven acting, some trite dialogue and several overplayed emotional beats flatten instead of round out the storytelling here.

Full Review… | January 9, 2014
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

There's not as much suspense as the premise suggests, thanks to a bloated middle section that's more concerned with religious reflection than practical negotiation.

Full Review… | January 31, 2014

In so many ways the film would be more interesting if it were more ambitious, but on its own terms it is surprisingly strong.

Full Review… | January 30, 2014
Austin Chronicle

A riveting tale that affirms the faith of the already converted without insulting the intelligence of the skeptic who primarily wants a high-caliber movie.

Full Review… | October 25, 2013
Spectrum (St. George, Utah)

Audience Reviews for The Saratov Approach


This dramatic thriller was all about religion, and if you are a non-believer, simply skip it! Written and directed by Garrett Batty it stars Corbin Allred, Maclain Nelson, Nikita Bogolyubov and Alex Veadov.

The movie is about the 1998 kidnapping of the two Mormon missionaries, Andrew Lee Propst and Travis Robert Tuttle in Saratov, Russia. The kidnappers wanted US$300,000 ransom from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but nobody wanted to pay the ransom for different reasons. For five days the two missionaries were handcuffed and held captive in a small room. When no ransom materialized, the men were driven to a field and released. Doesn't sound too exciting, especially when we all know the outcome of the story... but, there was suspense in the movie, excitement, and very believable acts and results of the faith of the young men.

At the time, this event was a significant international incident, but the director wisely chooses to focus its time on the missionaries and their captors. Some blamed a limited budget for it, but the important story really is what is happening within that relationship where they both slowly make their way through a barrage of emotions, confronting fears of their captors and their own mortality, and slowly coming to understand the role their faith will play in their predicament.

Please, do not dismiss this movie because it falls into the category of Mormon cinema, and the well-tread subcategory of missionary movies that is so prominent within it. Check it out and you will see that director Garrett Batty's effort is very solid. I didn't like the hand-held camera work and the intense original soundtrack, but the locals from The Salt Lake Tribune praised the film. Some of the scenes were not very impressive, they were executed rather like a routine, but they are countered by most of the emotional scenes of Allred and Nelson re-creating those days of captivity. Not a bad viewing!

Panta Oz

Super Reviewer

Might have a bit too much of a religious slant for some folks, but I still found the true life story of Mormon Missionaries kidnapped in Russia to be compelling, thrilling and touching.

Anthony Valletta

Super Reviewer

I loved the movie so much I found myself sifting through the reviews for a while just because I couldn't stop thinking about it. Now I'm leaving a review because I'm still thinking about it.

The only flaw is I feel like the actor who played the missionary that was talking about why he changed his mind about going on a mission paused a little too often and long when he was trying to be dramatic

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